At a news conference Friday morning, family members and Chula Vista's police chief made emotional calls for help finding May “Maya” Millete, a mother of three who has been missing since Jan. 7.
During the event outside Chula Vista's police headquarters, police chief Roxana Kennedy, Chula Vista mayor Mary Salas and Millete's sister Maricris Drouaillet and her husband, Richard Drouaillet, all asked for anyone who knew any details about Millete's disappearance to come forward.
Absent at the news conference was Millete's husband, Larry Millete. Earlier this week, NBC 7 reported that he had retained a lawyer and was no longer cooperating with the investigation.
"I'm pleading: Anyone out there, please, anybody, somewhere, somehow might know where my sister's whereabouts is," said Maricris, who fought back tears during much of her statement. "Please, bring her home … her kids, they need their mom. Please, help us find my sister. Anyone out there, if you have any information at all, please help me, help us find my sister. And from the bottom of our hearts, please, we thank you, we thank you, and we thank you."
Kennedy began the event by assuring the public that the department was following every lead but that there were limits to what investigators could share with the public.
"We want you to know that at the Chula Vista Police Department, that we understand the concern for answers -- everyone wants May home, and our prayers are that she will come home safely," Kennedy said, adding that CVPD "cannot share all the steps in our investigative process because we cannot compromise our investigation. As we all pray for May to return home safely, we cannot rule anything out."
The chief also said the Millete case had hit a nerve with the department.
"I want you to know that I'm a mother," an emotional Kennedy said, "and my children are my world, and I know that May's children meant everything to her. And I want you to know that to hear that May missed her daughter's birthday hit home with many of our officers and our detectives here at this department that are also parents."
Later at the podium, Richard Drouaillet said that the event on Friday was being held to keep the spotlight shining on Millete's disappearance -- and to thank the community of Chula Vista for its ongoing support.
"Our main goal has always been to find May, and now to protect the kids," Richard said. "We couldn't do this without the community's support, the police's support. So it's just like my wife said: Thank you. Thank you so much. I know we could never repay what you guys have done for us in this tragic time. Our goal today is just to motivate the community to keep pushing forward to find those answers, to find May."
Kennedy and Salas both urged anyone with information about Millete to call Chula Vista police. Tips can also be called in anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.
Dozens of friends and family members of Millete's were also at police headquarters, holding signs and offering support, planning on staying there for a "Find Maya" rally till 3 p.m., during which they would pray with the community and strategize on ways to find Millete.
During the rally, NBC 7 spoke with the Drouaillets, who said that at one point last week, they started to feel like there was a lag in the investigation from the detectives, so they wanted to have a rally to renew interest in the case.
The Drouaillets also said that the Milletes had been "having marital issues" but nothing more than the average couple.
"They tried -- I mean, they are average -- I believe because they tried, you know, there's ups and downs," Maricris said. "They break up, or, you know, they have arguments and they try to reconcile for the sake of the kids."
Earlier in the discussion, Maricris said that Larry Millete had been "distancing" from them.
"Minimal input from him, but we do miss the kids a lot," Richard concurred. "We just want them to be out here. We wish they would be out here. Everybody reacts differently to this kind of situation, you know."
The Drouaillets said its their intent to have more rallies in the future until they know wnat happened to Millete.
The Disappearance of May 'Maya' Millete
Jan. 7, 2021
According to Chula Vista police, Millete, 39, was last seen by her family at her home on Paseo Los Gatos at around 5 p.m. on Jan. 7. This was two days before the family was set to travel on a planned trip to Big Bear for Millete’s daughter’s birthday.
Jan. 10, 2021
On Jan. 10, at around 1 a.m., police were called to a report of a missing person in the 2400 block of Paseo Los Gatos in Chula Vista. That’s when investigators learned that Millete had vanished three days prior. The search for the missing mom began.
For the next two weeks, Millete's family, the community, and police searched for her.
Investigators described Millete as 5-foot-2 and 105 pounds, with brown hair, brown eyes and freckles. Her family said she has a tattoo on her wrist.
Jan. 23, 2021
On Jan. 23, Foxx said investigators had served a search warrant at Millete’s home. Foxx said the goal was to “obtain any evidence and clues to her current whereabouts.”
“The Chula Vista Police Department’s focus will continue to be locating May safe and in good health,” Foxx said on Jan. 23.
Police said Millete’s family had been and continued to be cooperative in the search for the missing woman.
'We Feel So Helpless and Also So Desperate For Answers'
Nearly a month into the search for Millete, her family wants answers.
They want to find her.
“We feel so helpless and also so desperate for answers,” Millete’s sister, Maricris Drouaillet, told NBC 7 on Thursday.
Drouaillet said detectives had told her that her sister’s husband, Larry Millete, had retained a lawyer and was no longer cooperating with the investigation.
Police have never named Larry Millete a suspect in the disappearance of his wife.
Drouaillet told NBC 7 Larry Millete was the last person to see her sister.
In recent weeks, she said he had been distancing himself from his wife’s side of the family.
“We can’t imagine him doing anything to our sister,” Drouaillet said.
She said the situation has been hard on everyone.
The family has plastered posters of the missing mother all over Chula Vista.
Searches continue on the hills near her home, near Mt. San Miguel Park.
Meanwhile, earlier this week, hikers found human remains on a trail in Santee. This prompted many questions to Chula Vista police and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department about the identity of those remains and if they were those of Millete.
Both agencies said the have no reason to believe the remains are Millete’s.
The CVPD’s investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information on Millete’s whereabouts can reach out to detectives at (619) 691-5139 or Crime Stoppers at (888)580-8477. Tipsters can remain anonymous.